Vandals Target Treasured Bird Sanctuary

August 5, 2016
Rachelle Roake
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Haehnle_01_resizeRecent damage to Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary ignites support from the birding community

Over the past several weeks, Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary has seen a rash of vandalism. These senseless acts damaged not only the handmade kiosk, signs, and new memorial overlook, but also destroyed two active nests with young. The police and neighbors have been informed and any information regarding who is responsible should be reported to local authorities. We are deeply saddened by this cruel event and we hope whoever is behind it will step forward, take responsibility, and contribute to repairing the damages.

While these damages are mostly physical and can and will be repaired, the emotional toll is heavy. Many hands have worked to protect and improve the sanctuary; many hands of people who are no longer with us. When we see memorials defaced and young birds endangered, words cannot describe the frustration, anger, loss, and sadness. Instead of dwelling on the loss, the dedicated volunteer Haehnle Sanctuary Committee has already begun rebuilding.

The immediate supportive response from the birding community has brought us hope and strength. We sincerely appreciate the kind thoughts we have received and increased visitation to keep an eye out for suspicious activity. If you wish to contribute to restoring Haehnle Sanctuary, both donations of time and money are appreciated. Please contact us to offer volunteer support or visit our donate page to contribute funds. For donations, please note that on the second page of the donation process, you will have the opportunity to enter a description. Please enter “Haehnle repairs” in the description.

With the coming of fall, the migrants will soon return and be none the wiser of the damages done by these callous individuals. The sanctuary will fill with sandhill cranes, curious birders, and dedicated volunteers willing to share their time connecting visitors with this extraordinary property. Haehnle Sanctuary’s unique natural beauty can never be tarnished by senseless vandals. The Haehnle Sanctuary Committee, Jackson Audubon, and Michigan Audubon thank you for your support.

If you see anyone vandalizing any item at Haehnle Sanctuary, please call 911 immediately. If you find evidence of vandalism, please contact us.